“Why would you pickle a perfectly good strawberry?” My mother asked me.
Moments earlier, she’d been telling me that I had become a better cook than her (which I protest—adamantly so), and I had texted her a picture of my latest project: pickled strawberries. In the jars, the strawberries looked like rubies against darkness of the balsamic vinegar. I had been rather enamored with their appearance, which is what prompted me to send her the picture. Without knowing what was in the jars, she suggested that the picture was proof I was a better cook. (Again, proposition rejected!)
Once I told her what I had done to those 2½ pound of perfectly good strawberries though, I lost all credibility and comments about my cooking prowess ceased.
My husband pointed out that my mother’s question was fair. He was equally nonplussed about my desire to experiment in the kitchen. But, if strawberries are so quintessentially perfect as they are, why do people turn them into jellies, pies, muffins, scones, or syrups? Why not experiment a little?
Okay, I should probably confess at this point that I was as deeply skeptical about pickling strawberries as everyone in my family. My foster kiddo made quite the face when I told her that I was pickling all those strawberries. Then she paused and admitted tentatively, “I guess that could be good.” This is my kiddo who loves pickles—and strawberries—so I took her hesitant approval as hope that these four pints of pickled strawberries wouldn’t go to waste.
Curiosity, as I had told my mom, was what drove me to try out pickling strawberries. I saw the recipe posted on Food in Jars, and I decided to give it a whirl. After all, I had liked the homemade pickles more than I anticipated and quick pickling is a snap. I didn’t have much to lose, except 2½ pounds of strawberries, a little bit of time, and my credibility.
After we noshed on the pickled strawberries, every single one of us dubbed them a surprising success. I’m most assuredly the gal who doesn’t ever seek out a pickled anything, and I can imagine eating them as a side or even a snack by themselves, not just atop my salad. I must rethink my relationship with pickles. This new interest started with the quick pickles mastery challenge. Now I’ve pickled strawberries and liked them. What’s next? I don’t know, but it starts with borrowing the Pickled Pantry from my library.
If you have favorite pickle recipes, please share!